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Vol 97 Issue 16

Results 1 to 9 of 9

Worthy is the ascended Lamb

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:8-10...

Schism: Doctrinal questions

In recent months, a new discussion of an old question is taking place among some in the Protestant Reformed Churches. The fundamental doctrine of total depravity is the issue, and alleged error regarding this doctrine becomes another source of contention. In the present atmosphere of suspicion, an alleged denial of total depravity becomes further “evidence of apostasy” in the PRCA and another reason for division. But rather than allowing the discussion to bring forth that fruit, let it produce the fruit of new commitment to study Scripture and the confessions and be strengthened in our faith. This “affliction” can be...

Letters

Question on Witsius Dear Editors, Is there not a major contradiction between Witsius (Standard Bearer—“Still relevant”—Dec. 15, 2020, p. 127) and what we confess as Protestant Reformed believers? Witsius’ writings are put forward by Rev. Koole as a relevant solution to our doctrinal struggle. I do not think so. Among many of Witsius’ problem statements, one stands out in summary: “Whence it is, that by how much one is more holy, by so much he is the more acceptable to God.” In direct contrast, we believe and confess that we are acceptable to God not on account of our own...

The state of theology

This article will reflect on the Ligonier Ministries’ survey entitled “The State of Theology.” Every two years, Ligonier partners with Lifeway Research in order to understand what Americans “believe about God, salvation, ethics, and the Bible.”1 The results are informative for the believer in the church for at least two reasons. First, considering this survey, the believer cannot help but contemplate the end of this present age and the return of Jesus Christ. This research makes very clear the wide-spread departure from the historic Christian faith in the context of America, which paves the way for the coming of antichrist...

Jonah’s prayer (1)

Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight: yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the...

Assurance and good works (3)

Previous article in this series: January 15, 2021, p. 182. Stooping to our weakness “Calvinist believers who struggle with their assurance can never know with certainty that they are one of the elect.” So writes Jerry L. Walls in Why I Am Not a Calvinist.1 The charge is as old as Arminianism. It was an objection voiced by the Arminians (Remonstrants) prior to the Synod of Dordt. In reality, the opposite is true. It is the teaching of Arminianism that strips believers of comfort. This heresy maintains that Christ died for every human being without exception. Despite a death of...

Watch your mouth (2)

Communication [keh-mew-neh-ka-shon], noun: a process of sharing information with another person in such a way that the sender’s message is understood in the way he intended it to be understood. In a previous article, we introduced the subject of communication. We looked at the nature of communication (using the definition above), and we considered what a precious gift communication is. The introduction continues with this article. Before turning in future articles to specific principles of good communication, I want in this article to continue to lay the groundwork by considering the importance of communication and the source of it.  ...

Bring the books…

Refresh: Embracing a Grace- Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands, by Shona and David Murray. Wheaton: Crossway, 2017. 198 pages. Paperback. $14.99. Reviewed by Cherith S. Guichelaar. I sometimes think we do not get to know each other as we ought. Perhaps this is not on purpose, but simply because it feels too uncomfortable. It is out of most people’s comfort zone to say, “I’m broken. I’m struggling to lay it at the cross. I don’t understand why, but I feel emptied. I feel like a bad Christian. Does God even understand?” Maybe it is hard to say...

News from our churches

Trivia question Which student did Synod 1960 examine and declare a candidate for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC? Answer later in this column.   Minister activities Hudsonville PRC formed a new trio of Rev. C. Griess (First PRC—Grand Rapids, MI), Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC—Spokane, WA). Rev. Griess received this call, declining it on April 18. Kalamazoo, MI PRC called Rev. R. VanOverloop. Wingham PRC called Rev. J. Smidstra (First PR Holland, MI). Rev. Smidstra declined this call. Byron Center PRC called Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC)....

5/15/2021